Why these women entrepreneurs came together to found edtech startup Whiz League
India’s edtech market has been enjoying its day in the sun ever since the pandemic drastically changed ways of learning. Dominant players have hit milestones and several new learning platforms have emerged in the past year and a half.
Entrepreneurs Natasha Jain and Sonia Agarwal Bajaj are the latest entrants with Whiz League, an innovative learning platform that offers training in non-academic and career-specific skills from industry experts.
"It is very difficult to navigate through a specific industry and learn how it works. We strongly felt that people could use inspiration and lessons from industry role models. And we decided to bring in the who's who of the different industries and get started."
The platform now features personalities like Guru Randhawa imparting lessons on becoming a rockstar, chef Ranveer Brar on mastering spices, Mukesh Chhabra on auditioning and casting in Bollywood, among others.
After completing the pre-recorded modules at one’s own pace, Whiz Launchpad allows students to submit an assignment and get a chance to collaborate with the leaders, if selected.
Speedy growth and challenges
From brainstorming the idea in November 2020 to going live in April this year, the edtech startup has already seen 13,000 users download the mobile application. The entrepreneurs are now in talks to raise the first round of funding and say they expected to take more time to achieve such milestones.
The startup recently launched junior whiz courses and a launchpad for younger children and teenagers.
However, Natasha says every day has been a challenge.
“Producing these classes is like making mini-movies because they involve everything from content, production, editing, graphics, and more. We are both perfectionists and proofread everything that goes on the website. Getting the quality that we did in a short time span has been a challenge, but also an accomplishment that we are proud of," she adds.
The market and the way forward
Today, it seems like every other entrepreneur is betting on different areas of the edtech market. After all, it is valued at $700-$800 million and expected to reach $30 billion in the next 10 years, according to a report by RBSA Advisors.
The duo feels it is “definitely an attractive market” but it really depends on who's providing the right products, in the right way, and is “able to sustain growth in terms of quality and content”.
The two women entrepreneurs hope to make Whiz League relevant to the South East Asian population and soon tap NRI communities around the world.
Being women entrepreneurs
Both Natasha and Sonia are seasoned entrepreneurs with several successful ventures to their credit. They have known each other for over a decade and in 2011 co-founded a platform called Freshmentors, to help students with college applications.
Natasha, who holds a master’s in management science and engineering from Stanford University, later started Delhi-based fintech app Ruplee, which was acquired by Paylo in March 2016. In the same year, she founded Bentchair, an omnichannel furniture and home decor brand that seeks to highlight made-in-India products by traditional artisans.
Sonia pursued a bachelor’s in business administration from Babson College where she was recognised among the 50 most innovative student entrepreneurs in the world by Kairos Society. A dynamic early child expert and educator, she has founded Little Chipper International School in Agra.
Last year, they both donned new roles as a mother. “Natasha has triplets and I also gave birth to a child. Put together with Whiz League, we jokingly say that we have five babies, all less than a year old,” Sonia remarks.
Natasha says women tend to be more questioned about their “seriousness” towards a particular role or their business, more so as they get married and become mothers.
"It is significantly harder to be a woman entrepreneur in itself; it gets harder to be a mompreneur," Sonia sums up.
Edited by Teja Lele